More people commuting by bike?

The latest figures from the MCI show there was a further rise in the number of new registrations of small motorcycles and scooters for 2012. That’s the second year running – with the top five best sellers for the year all 125cc or just under.

This is a popular size for commuting and is easily accessible to anyone over the age of 17 (16 for mopeds). 

New registrations for bikes between 51-125cc saw a growth of 8.5% during 2012.  Increased sales of small motorcycles have been consistent since petrol prices rose at the beginning of 2011.

There is also a strong second hand market for smaller motorcycles between 101-125cc as the total parc for this engine band has risen steadily for the past ten years, rising from 154,000 in 2002 to 261,000 for the end of 2011.  (Figures for 2012 will be issued mid 2013).

There are huge benefits to commuting on a motorcycle, moped or scooter to all road users.  A study published earlier this year by ACEM (The Motorcycle Industry in Europe) considered the impact of a relatively small shift from cars to motorcycles for a congested urban area in Belgium.  When just 10% of drivers swapped their cars for motorcycles – time spent in traffic decreased by 40%.  When 25% of car drivers switched – congestion was eliminated entirely. 

Steve Kenward, Acting CEO of the MCI explained, “The growth of smaller motorcycles and scooters would suggest that more people than ever are commuting on powered two wheelers. This is an exciting trend and something the MCI has been talking to government about – in helping to solve congestion problems”.

The MCI has met with Transport Ministers recently to talk about recognising the contribution motorcycles can make in overcoming urban transport congestion. 

Small motorcycles and scooters are more fuel efficient than most cars, with some doing up to 146 mpg.  Parking is often free, road tax is lower and there are no congestion charges or work place parking levies for motorcyclists.

There is also an increasing range of electric motorcycles available.

These are all issues that local MAG activists campaign on too. If we can make motorcycling more convenient for ourselves (access to bus lanes, secure free parking etc) then more people will see the benefits and join us. When this happens, we all improve our safety too, as we know that when there are more riders on the road other road users start looking out for us.

For those who want to see if motorcycling is for them – the industry sponsors a programme called Get On which allows anyone over the age of 16 to try it for free.